The Hannibal Files

The Hannibal Files

  • The Unauthorised Guide to the Hannibal Lecter Trilogy
  • Daniel O'Brien
  • Film

The Hannibal Files is a summary and review of the three books by Thomas Harris that feature Dr Hannibal Lecter: Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. All three books have been made into films with the first book being the source material for both Manhunter and Red Dragon, which isn’t covered in depth but gets a brief mention at the end. I’ve been an avid reader of the books and a huge fan of the films, especially Hannibal that was directed by Ridley Scott.

Because I’ve read the books, read interviews with directors and actors, watched the extras on the DVDs I didn’t really learn anything new. I didn’t know that the producer Dino de Laurentiis had actually passed on the film rights to The Silence of the Lambs because of the relative failure of Manhunter at the box office. Also that Jodie Foster didn’t seem to have that much faith in the abilities of Jonathan Demme as a director at first.

I still can’t quite decide which Hannibal story arc I like the most. I’ve watched the film a number of times but only read the book twice. Do we want Clarice and Hannibal to live happily ever after?

I’m still quite intrigued by the mask that Hannibal in wearing on the cover. I own a replica that is similar and always thought that it was based on masks used in european asylums. The book describes how all the masks that they tried were full face masks, like goal hockey masks, and that they cut the mask in half so that we could see Lecter’s eyes.

The other thing that has always interested me is the promotional art work for The Silence of the Lambs and the Death’s-head Hawkmoth. The skull has been replaced by naked female figures posed in the shape of a skull. I did bid on a copy of the original artwork for this on eBay many years ago but let it go when the bidding went too high.

Before reading The Hannibal Files you would have to have read the books and seen the films. Do that first. If you are interested in learning more then read The Hannibal Files.